The U.S. Olympic Committee is seeking to revoke USA Gymnastics’ status as the national governing body for the sport.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said that the decision was not one that had been taken lightly.
“Seeking to revoke recognition is not a conclusion that we have come to easily,” Hirshland said. “In the short term, we have to work to ensure that USAG gymnasts have the support necessary to excel on and off the field of play. We are building plans to do just that.”
According to Hirshland, protocol dictates that a review panel will now need to be convened to conduct a hearing on the matter and give recommendations on a course of action.
A vote by the USOC board will then determine whether USAG is officially stripped of its status.
The move comes as USAG has struggled to find improved leadership following a sexual abuse scandal involving former trainer Larry Nassar, who is currently serving a life sentence on child sexual abuse and child pornography charges.
In October, the organization’s interim president and CEO, Mary Bono, announced that she was leaving her post after only five days in the role. Bono’s predecessor, Kerry Perry, resigned in September after just nine months.
In an open letter to the U.S. gymnastics community, Hirshland said that USOC’s motives were “crystal clear.”
“So, we move forward, committing to ensuring the type of organization each gymnast and the coaches, trainers and club owners who support them deserves,” she said.
As the gymnastics community questions what the decision means, Hirshland added that she doesn’t “have a perfect answer today” and that “this is a situation in which there are no perfect solutions.”
“The clearest answer I can provide is that gymnastics as a sport will remain a bedrock for the Olympic community in the United States,” she said. “Young people will continue to participate, refine their techniques and have fun.”